On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Andre Ingram of the South Bay Lakers to a contract to finish out the final two games of the season. After grinding in the G League for 10 years, Ingram took full advantage of his first NBA opportunity against the Houston Rockets.
Ingram played 29 minutes in his debut, hitting six of his eight shots, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range to finish with 19 points. Ingram added three rebounds and three blocks, but the duo of Chris Paul and James Harden spoiled his excellent first night as the Rockets came away with a 105-99 victory.
Paul led all scorers with 22 points and Harden finished with 21 points and 10 assists to lead the Rockets who have locked down the top spot in the Western Conference. At this point they are simply looking to get their rhythm together for the playoffs, but unfortunately didn’t come out of the game unscathed as Luc Richard Mbah a Moute suffered a dislocated shoulder in the first half.
As has been the case for the Lakers recently, the offense struggled without the majority of their normal firepower. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma all sat out and the Lakers obviously missed their presence, shooting just 42.2 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from deep.
Josh Hart continued to step up in their absence, finishing with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Julius Randle added 17 and eight. It was Hart’s career-best third consecutive game with at least 20 points. Nonetheless, the story on this night was Ingram.
The 32-year-old played nearly 400 games in the G League and is the all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He showed why, bringing the Lakers to within a single possesion with under a minute remaining with his final 3-pointer of the night, but the Lakers wouldn’t get another basket.
This Lakers’ season has been full of promising and impressive moments for a number of young players. Ingram was added to that list, and showed that he is deserving of a real shot in the NBA.
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